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JBFCS Child Development Center

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34 W. 139th St Harlem, NYC


"Simply put, we could not have found partners more suited to our design process. By getting who we are as a human service agency, they were able to reflect our soul in their design. As an owner, it just doesn’t get better than that!"
Ellen Josem, Associate Executive Director

The Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services’ nationally recognized Child Development Center in Harlem provides special programming for children ages 2 to 6 with a range of developmental, neurological and/or emotional and behavioral challenges. They use a wide variety of therapeutic approaches, services, and programs to help children and their families. Program spaces include classrooms, rooms organized for a specific therapy (physical, music, play, speech), offices for learning specialists, and a special education teacher training room.

BKSK’s design work focused on creating learning environments that address the special needs of these children, while infusing a playful spirit throughout their 12,500 square foot facility on the ground floor of a new mixed-use building. At the outset, we met individually with administration leaders and teachers to understand the challenges and needs of their students and to get a clear picture of how they work with them. This in-depth programming study served as our roadmap for designing their new home.

Gardiner & Theobald – cost and project management; AMA Consulting Engineers –MEP; Weidlinger Associates – structural; HLB Lighting Design; TM Technology Partners; Poulin + Morris – graphic design

Photos by Jonathan Wallen